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Celebrating Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

Photo by Katie Rainbow on Unsplash

Organizations Supporting 2SLGBTQI+ Youth in Canada

The future is queer: These 2SLGBTQI+ organizations across Canada are cultivating affirming spaces for queer youth to thrive

By Brennen Neufeld

While we have been seeing an increase in hate directed at the 2SLGBTQI+ community, there have never been more organizations providing life-changing support for queer folks of all ages as there are today. Gone are the days when people had to move to larger cities like Toronto or Montreal to access community and queer programming.

Our community has always taken care of each other, and that is on clear display with the following organizations that provide life-changing support for 2SLGBTQI+ youth. Let’s take a quick tour from coast to coast to coast as we highlight some of them. For full listings of the programming and services offered by these organizations, look them up online or follow them on social media.  

British Columbia: QMUNITY 

QMUNITY’s main location is in Vancouver but they have a combination of in-person and virtual programming for a variety of age groups across BC. Youth programming includes drop-ins, special events and the Bra and Binder Exchange Program, which provides free gender-affirming chest-wear to trans and gender-variant youth who are otherwise unable to access it. 

They have a fantastic resource section on their website, and also offer a variety of training and consulting services for organizations looking to be more inclusive for all members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community.

Alberta: Fyrefly Institute

Fyrefly Institute is best known for their annual summer camp called Camp fYrefly, which was recently featured in the documentary Summer Qamp. However, they also offer programming year-round aimed at supporting 2SLGBTQI+ youth and their families, reducing discrimination and bullying, and providing education. 

Their Fyrefly in Schools workshops are available in-person or online, which makes them accessible to schools across Alberta. Part of this programming includes the educational initiative Where the Rivers Meet, which focuses on bringing culturally relevant teachings based on Indigenous ways of knowledge. This initiative is mostly based in the Edmonton area but is expanding to serve Indigenous communities, schools, and organizations across Alberta.

Saskatchewan: UR Pride Centre for Sexuality & Gender Diversity

UR Pride Centre for Sexuality & Gender Diversity is located on the University of Regina campus but offers programming to the entire community of Regina. Their advocacy for 2SLGBTQI+ youth extend across the province, with letter writing templates, petition, and the Direct Action Assistance Fund which supports organizers and organizations looking to take on direct actions surrounding anti-trans policy and government action.  

They currently host a combination of virtual and in-person programming like their Group Z Group for ages 16-24 and their Youth Group for ages 13-18. 

They also offer workshops and training sessions which include things like public workshops, individualized training, class talks, public lectures, or presentations that educate people about 2SLGBTQI+ inclusion and equity.

Manitoba: Rainbow Resource Centre

Rainbow Resource Centre in Winnipeg has youth programming for a variety of age groups that is focused on resilience, increasing self-esteem and self-confidence while building social networks and peer support. A highlight for a lot of youth is the annual summer camp, Camp Aurora, for gender and sexually diverse youth ages 14-19. It’s Manitoba’s only summer camp for 2SLGBTQI+ youth.

Rainbow Resource Centre’s library provides a safer, welcoming environment where people can learn, socialize and network. All of the content available at the library is written by 2SLGBTQI+ authors and/or contains 2SLGBTQI+ subject matter.

They also offer diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) workshops, presentations, consultations and other events for a variety of sectors and audiences. These services are available online and in-person, making them accessible across Canada.

Ontario: Friends of Ruby

Friends of Ruby provides a variety of services, including a first-of-its-kind transitional house designed specifically for 2SLGBTQI+ youth. Their drop-in centre is a place for 2SLGBTQI+ youth in the GTA (ages 16-29) to find support and community.

The Friends of Ruby team also provides help for 2SLGBTQI+ youth with informal counselling, life-skills development, assistance overcoming barriers, and help navigating systems to find housing, employment and health care.

They also have a great resource section on their website that covers topics such as navigating family gatherings, financial literacy, self-advocacy, and navigating the workplace as a trans and/or non-binary person.

Québec: Project 10

Project 10 offers bilingual (French and English) in-person (in Montreal) and virtual programming for 2SLGBTQI+ youth and young adults ages 14-25. Their support services coordinator is able to provide support in a few different ways, including active listening, help finding 2SLGBTQI+-friendly services, and accompaniment to certain events or meetings like school or the healthcare system. 

There are also specific programs for youth in care and QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) youth and young adults. 

Each summer, Project 10 hosts a variety of Pride Month events in collaboration with community partners. This past summer they also hosted a bilingual camp for 2SLGBTQI+ youth and a young adult retreat. 

New Brunswick: Imprint Youth Association

Imprint Youth Association was founded in 2015 after community conversations about what was needed and missing for 2SLGBTQI+ youth and young adults. They offer programming and special events like their Trans, Gender Diverse, 2 Spirit Swim; clothing swaps; and family picnics. 

They have been hosting drop-in events at the Fredericton Public Library, but recently secured their very own permanent space. Find them on Facebook for upcoming events and more information about their new space.

Nova Scotia: The Youth Project

The Youth Project’s mission is to “make Nova Scotia a safer, healthier and happier place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth through support, education, resource expansion and community development.” They do this through a variety of programming such as supportive counselling (available remotely), drop-in nights, classroom workshops and professional development sessions. 

There are also two summer camps: Camp Seahorse for 2SLGBTQI+ youth and Camp Coyote for trans-identified youth. Both provide youth with the opportunity to make new friends in a positive and affirming environment. 

Prince Edward Island: PEERS Alliance

PEERS Alliance runs a lot of fantastic programming, including the PEI Rainbow Youth Club that welcomes 2SLGBTQI+ community members and allies under the age of 19. They currently meet once a month in Charlottetown, Summerside and King’s County for discussions and fun activities. All sessions are led by trained personnel and include a healthy snack. 

The Roots & Shoots program, which operates in Summerside and Charlottetown, provides a supportive and non-judgmental space for families with trans or gender-diverse children.

They also run a Queer Youth Writing Club in collaboration with the PEI Writers’ Guild that meets at the PEERS Alliance office in Charlottetown. Participants are able to get feedback on different forms of writing and have their work published in an anthology at the end of the year.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Quadrangle

Quadrangle offers a combination of in-person and virtual programming aimed at wellness, community building and connection. Their Octagon Library at the Quadrangle centre is St. John’s newest 2SLGBTQI+ library and is accessible to community members without ID, allowing folks to use their self-declared name. 

The Quadrangle Community Counselling Line, which is available province wide, provides vital mental health support via phone, video, text or drop-in.

Yukon: Queer Yukon Society 

Besides putting on annual Pride celebrations, the Queer Yukon Society also hosts monthly events in different communities such as movie nights, craft nights, community meals, and a support group for parents and guardians of 2SLGBTQI+ youth. 

The society’s vision is for the Yukon to once again be a welcoming, safe home for 2SLGBTQI+ people with strong, connected queer communities.

Northwest Territories: Northern Mosaic Network 

Northern Mosaic Network’s Rainbow Youth Centre in Yellowknife offers programs and services for youth under 19, including their Rainbow Centre Day Camps, Performing Arts & Queer Justice Camp,

Northern Mosaic Mentorship Program, Rainbow Library, Holigay Basket Program and Community Closet.

There are also programs for different age groups, parents and specific communities within the 2SLGBTQI+ such as their Two Spirit Tea + Social, BIPGM (Black, Indigenous and People of the Global Majority) Hangout and Ace/Aro Space.

They also offer workshops and training sessions on a variety of 2SLGBTQI+ topics and for specific sectors. 

Nunavut: Positive Space Nunavut

Positive Space Nunavut is a branch-off of the Positive Space club at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit, which offers a safer space for all students. While the Positive Space club in the high school has hosted Pride Week celebrations, a Pride prom and a flag-raising, community members outside the school (including younger children) were not able to attend those events as they were school specific. 

Positive Space Nunavut received funding from the federal government to develop Inuit-specific educational resources, gather community knowledge, and hold events that are open to all community members. They’re hoping to offer a physical space for community members in the future. Earlier this year, they put on a community-wide Pride Parade and celebration in Iqaluit.

These are just a handful of the impactful 2SLGBTQI+ organizations providing valuable services and programs across Canada. To find even more community resources from across all 10 provinces and three territories – from St. John’s to Victoria, Yellowknife to Windsor, and everywhere in between – visit Canada’s National 2SLGBTQI+ Community Resource Directory, presented by IN Magazine, at

BRENNEN NEUFELD is IN Magazine’s manager, community partnerships, and a small-town guy with a big heart. He’s passionate about cultivating inclusion, belonging and community wherever he goes. In his down time, he enjoys listening to audiobooks, dancing to disco in his kitchen and watching queer films, especially documentaries.

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